Meade CaptureView Puts You In The Action And Brings Back The Photos
By Cap Mason (10 June 2005)
Cool bino-cam is perfect for air shows.
In the decades BD (before digital), whenever I went to air museums and air shows, I was usually loaded down with about 40 pounds of camera gear. Long lenses, short lenses, SLR bodies with motor drives, the works. Oh, my aching back! I wanted to lighten my load. This year I joined the ranks of digital camera users. I shelved all my 35mm SLR gear in favor of a Sony 8 megapixel prosumer digital camera and this Meade bino-cam. My back never felt better and making photographs of my favorite aviation subjects is now fun again.
The 8MP Sony digital is a topic for a separate review. This one is about the Meade CaptureView. I tried one a couple of years ago and decided to upgrade to the new model because the improvements have been astounding. It comes in several versions. I'm going to talk about the two top end versions here because they're the perfect companions for air shows. Use them in the pits for close-ups from afar, or in the grandstands when you want to capture close-ups of your favorite aircraft on the taxi ramp or zooming by during the display flights. Grab one now and you'll be ready for all the action at the Reno Air Races, too.
Since my life is more than just aviation and flightsimming (OK, so my secret is out!) I take the CaptureView waterproof everywhere. A favorite pastime of mine is tide pooling at this great spot just south of San Francisco adjacent to the Half Moon Bay airport. The CaptureView is perfect for watching the Harbor Seal that romp on the rock and also for catching the P-51, Stearman and other vintage aircraft that fly out of the Half Moon Bay airfield. The runway vectors the airplanes right over the tide pools.
This thing is so cool!
Here's how it works. What you see through the binoculars, you can capture instantly with the built-in digital camera. The entire instrument fits in the palm of your hand. Frankly, I think the bin-cam is worth the price of admission just for the Meade quality binoculars alone. Throw in the digital camera, and this is an outstanding value.
The waterproof CaptureView has an 8x30 view which is great for all-purpose distance viewing such as air shows, sporting events, birding, wildlife watching, the works. When I'm at the tide pools, I don't want to worry about water ruining my digital gear. I also find that rain does not have any respect for air show days and I don't want a few drops to spoil my static display shooting pleasure.
The digital camera is built in, has its own LCD viewfinder and variable focus. The 8x42 version has a more powerful binoculars and more image memory with focus fixed at 66 feet.
The digital camera records what you see through the binoculars. That comes in handy when you're trying to see and photograph the details on your favorite Reno racers, but need to get beyond the gaggle of spectators blocking your view in the pits.
Both bin-cams record still images at 2 megapixels and video clips. Meade thought of everything a bino user would need. You just never know when something exciting is going to happen right before your eyes. So, Meade gives you a handy Flashbackâ„¢ feature that save the last 5, 10, 15 or 20 seconds of any recording, then lets you view an instant replay of what you recorded.
|8x42 Product Brochure||8x30 Waterproof Product Brochure|
|Folding roof prism||Folding roof prism|
|Fully coated||Fully coated|
|16 ft.||16 ft.|
|376 ft. @ 1000 yds.||367 ft. @ 1000 yds.|
|24.9 oz||19.4 oz|
2272 x1704 (3.2MP);
2 0 (2.0MP)
|90 sec. @ QVGA||90 sec. @ QVGA|
|Fixed, 66 ft.-âˆž||Variable, 30ft.-âˆž|
|1.5" color LCD||1.5" color LCD|
|2 x AA 1.5V Alkaline||2 x AAA 1.5V Alkaline|
Seeing is believing.
The best way to judge whether this bino-cam is right for you is to check out the images it makes. Meade has a great collection of still and video images available. Just use the links below to see for yourself.
I would have expected this gizmo to cost around $400 or more After all, decent binoculars cost anywhere from $300-500 and up. Even low end digital cameras can cost you another $200-300 and much more. Meade puts the two together in a single instrument and you can buy it today for just $199.95 at The Discovery Store!
Get Free shipping from the Discovery Store in time for Father's
The Meade Bino-cams qualify for free shipping. Simply enter this code at checkout: FDAY.Cap Mason